The Weird And Wonderful

Written by: TL on 08/10/2014 17:52:52

Where to fucking start with "The Weird And Wonderful", the debut album from the young English quintet Marmozets? The prerequisite sound for being a backbone song on the record might seem simple enough: Squeeze Billy Talent, Arctic Monkeys and Blood Command in a van and then drive that van through some barbed wire and off a cliff and the resulting crash of instruments should give you an idea of the tone. But what then of all the other stuff the band attaches to that backbone throughout these simply ridiculous thirteen tracks of magnificently rebellious "punk'n'rollcore"?

Why can't we have a dissonant Norma Jean-style breakdown in the middle of our opening song? Why can't we sound like "When The Sun Goes Down" four songs in, in the chorus to "Is It Horrible"?. Why can't we borrow Sonic Boom Six's ragga-style verse rhythms before the pop-rock chorus of "Cover Up"? Why can't we include a mainly instrumental track in "Vibetech" that sounds like listeners getting bear-mauled by guitars, with abrupt Dillinger Escape Plan-esque rhythms and a similarly sinister mood? All these and more questions seem like ones the band has asked upon starting production of "The Weird And Wonderful", and if there were any objections, the response seems to have been to seize the doubters in a chokehold, because amazingly, that's what the record sounds like: Like for once it's the efficiency and power of experienced songwriters and producers being enslaved and extorted by disrespectful punk rock upstarts that do not give a single fuck about stylistic convention. It's like class is in session, but the teacher is gagged and tied to a chair while the star pupils with the torn up clothing are in charge of a whole different kind of education.

The result is, as you may have guessed by now, nothing short of completely spectacular. The riffs alone, played by Sam Macintyre and Jack Bottomly, at times sound like a new noise all together and seize you by the ears and shake you into upheaval. And then you add the vocals by Sam's sister Becca, who sounds like Jason Butler died and his furious spirit possessed British Hayley Williams. You name it, Becca does it: singing, screaming, screeching, belting. Just listen to "Captivate You", which excellently breaks the hazardous tempo established prior to its position at track three. "I will captivate you with everything I got" she sings and right as rain, the melody, performance and the dynamic with which they are set up, are all completely dominant. Listen to "Cry", which starts atypically like a sensitive piano-ballad, yet the guitars that howl yearningly in the background then come in with harmonised badassery of the kind instant classics are made of.

As if made after injecting enough adrenaline to kill a horse, "The Weird And Wonderful" is a sprint through an eclectic cabinet of ideas from all over the place, distilled expertly into frenetic songstructures that make you want to sing and dance like nobody's looking. It is only barely possible to reign in ones enthusiasm and note that okay, perhaps songs like "Particle", "Love You Good" and "Hit The Wave" are a bit more commonly put together than the rest, but then just listen to the latter and get crushed solely by the riffage that sits in the middle and end. When even an album's lesser songs are like that, arguing against its worth seems like trying to convince a lit stick of dynamite to not blow your face off. The album is quite simply a staggering debut, from a young family outfit (the band is completed by Will Bottomly on bass and Josh Macintyre on drums) who seems to have done what you suddenly wish every band would: They've learned and absorbed the rules of proper songwriting and then they've smeared those in coal, dragged them through a junkyard of contemporary references, installed a guidance system that has ADHD and a gear stick that jumps to fifth every time you look the other way. So what if it reads a bit much like a lightning rod for superlatives? Just wait 'til you hear it. Out-fuckin'-standing.


Download: Why Do You Hate Me?, Captivate You, Cry, Vibetech
For The Fans Of: Blood Command, Billy Talent, The Blood Brothers

Release date 29.09.2014
Roadrunner Records

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